written by:
photos by:
February 26, 2009
Originally published in Small Wonders

In Lima,Peru–a visually striking but geologically shaky locale–designer Jodi Puig points out ways in which the city's culturally rich past provides a solid foundation for its design future.

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  The massive Huaca Pucllana is just one of many examples of the pre-Incan architecture that dots Lima. This complex burial structure was built some 1,500 years ago.
    The massive Huaca Pucllana is just one of many examples of the pre-Incan architecture that dots Lima. This complex burial structure was built some 1,500 years ago.
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  \An unidentified artist works on a painting of the crucifixion at the colonial Museo de Arte de Lima.
    \An unidentified artist works on a painting of the crucifixion at the colonial Museo de Arte de Lima.
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  Puig has designed, among other things, Restaurante Cala, which looks out onto the sea.
    Puig has designed, among other things, Restaurante Cala, which looks out onto the sea.
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  Public squares and parks loom large in the lives of Peruvians, and the heavily mosaiced Parque del Amor in the Miraflores neighborhood is no exception.
    Public squares and parks loom large in the lives of Peruvians, and the heavily mosaiced Parque del Amor in the Miraflores neighborhood is no exception.
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  The narrow streets of downtown Lima show the modern alongside the colonial.
    The narrow streets of downtown Lima show the modern alongside the colonial.
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  The lovely view of the sea from the cliffs of Avenida Saenz Peña.
    The lovely view of the sea from the cliffs of Avenida Saenz Peña.
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  From outdoors to in, Restaurante La Mar specializes in seafood, particularly the Peruvian classic, ceviche.
    From outdoors to in, Restaurante La Mar specializes in seafood, particularly the Peruvian classic, ceviche.
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  Another of the city’s many parks, Parque Union Europea makes use of a number of levels.
    Another of the city’s many parks, Parque Union Europea makes use of a number of levels.
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  Here are details from the colorful, elaborate mosaics at Parque del Amor.
    Here are details from the colorful, elaborate mosaics at Parque del Amor.
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  The prodigious cultural production of Peru includes a sofa by Eva Pest.
    The prodigious cultural production of Peru includes a sofa by Eva Pest.
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  The Plaza San Martin.
    The Plaza San Martin.
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  A Huari head.
    A Huari head.
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  Ceviche, one Peru's culinary mainstays.
    Ceviche, one Peru's culinary mainstays.
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  Architect and industrial designer Sebastián Bravo designed the Hans Stoll Residence.
    Architect and industrial designer Sebastián Bravo designed the Hans Stoll Residence.
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  Designers and architects currently enjoy a heretofore-unseen prosperity in Peru. Fashion designer Sumy Kujon makes her clothes from alpaca wool, incorporating traditional craftsmanship into contemporary fashion.
    Designers and architects currently enjoy a heretofore-unseen prosperity in Peru. Fashion designer Sumy Kujon makes her clothes from alpaca wool, incorporating traditional craftsmanship into contemporary fashion.
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The massive Huaca Pucllana is just one of many examples of the pre-Incan architecture that dots Lima. This complex burial structure was built some 1,500 years ago.
The massive Huaca Pucllana is just one of many examples of the pre-Incan architecture that dots Lima. This complex burial structure was built some 1,500 years ago.

Though often shrouded in fog, Lima is one of the world’s driest cities, and in the face of chronic drought, people have been building huge structures here for thousands of years. Pre-Incan ruins abound, and 16th-century Spanish colonial architecture mingles with everything built before or since. Today the architecture and design scenes are especially vibrant. Thanks to rich veins of minerals in the Andes, Peru’s economy has been booming for the past six years on exports of copper, zinc, and gold to Asia and North America. Politics have calmed since a leftist insurgency group that torched power lines and bombed the city was defeated a decade ago. A new wealth and stability have combined to give a generation of young Peruvians a chance to focus on building—–be it on the edges of the city’s cliffs or the rocky desert beaches of the Pacific.

We get a guided tour of this city marked as much by its arid climate as its seismic volatility from Jordi Puig, an architect from a Catalan family who grew up in Lima. Puig has designed several prize-winning projects across the city, including a number of restaurants. He also co-hosts a TV show that keeps its eye on Peru’s design scene by interviewing architects in their homes.

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